Welcome to my December blog post. It feels as though everything is about Christmas at the moment ( which I love) but its also a great time to reflect on the year, feel grateful and look forward to new beginnings and possibilities. One of my goals for Outline Arts, was to have a Summer and Winter Children’s Art Exhibition and sell the artwork for charity. I wanted to celebrate the childrens talent and also show that you can use your creativity for good and help others. And this year is no different. I’m collaborating with Chef de Party ( amazing cookery school for children) to create postcard art inspired by Christmas Fayre. We've illustrated delicious food provided by Chef de Party and will be exhibiting the artwork on 7th December, 10-11am at Formby Pool. The artwork will be for sale and all donations will go to Claire House Children’s Hospice.

It will be a busy weekend as I’m also running a family Christmas session at Riva Lounge, Formby on the 8th December 10-12. I’ll be running make and take art sessions for all the family and there will be local makers there selling beautiful handmade items. You can choose from glass jar lanterns, Christmas cards and wrapping paper and Christmas bunting. Ideal for ages 3+, packs are £5 each or 3 for £12. It’s a great place to come, be creative, have a coffee / cake ( there will be a hot drink / cake special just for the event) and browse lovely things such as handmade jewellery, wooden crafty items and knitted beauties. My art club finishes on 14th December for this term and we’re back on the 4th January for a new term of creativity. Bookings now being taken for the new year - contact Jennie 07706 115436. I’m also working on a creative project for Aintree Hospital to run workshops as part The January Challenge. It’s a month of quick, simple and creative challenges to beat the January blues and get creative. It’s run by 64 Million Artists and a great way to feel creatively motivated in the new year. As it’s the end of the term / year, Id like to say a massive thank you to all my students, friends, parents, grandparents and carers for supporting me this year and to the schools and organisations for booking me for freelance work. Thank you for believing in my ideas and the power of creativity and the benefit this has for both children and adults. I always say it’s just what’s in my head and I’m lucky that when I share it, people get it and feel as excited as I do. Its a brilliant feeling to see it come to fruition in sessions and workshops. I’m also lucky to collaborate with positive and talented people who share the same passion and energy I do when it comes to creativity in all its form.

Have a Merry Christmas and peaceful new year and look forward to new adventures and possibilities in 2020.

JennieHow to... Illustrate and print your own cards and wrapping paper

I love different techniques in image making and even more so when they can be made into personal items. Illustrating and printmaking your own Christmas cards and wrapping paper is not only fun, it’s creative and a great way to personalise and be sustainable too. For this how to, we’re going to look at ways to illustrate and print a set of cards and wrapping paper.

1. Firstly, decide on a theme within Christmas. This could beChristmas treesFestive treats ( ginger bread men, cookies, Yule logs, mince pies, cupcakes)Winter wonderlandObjects of Christmas ( presents, candy canes, bobble hats, reindeers, snowmen)

2. Start by sketching objects / scenes from your theme with a pencil. This will help you get your ideas down, think of what you want b to focus on within the theme and warm you up for the illustrations.

3. From your drawings, decide on 3 of them. Next we are going to select one for print. Using foam, draw your design onto it with a pencil. Once you are happy with your design ( you can rub off any lines you don’t want to use). Go over the lines again and press down hard so you can actually feel the line one you’re done.

4. Roll some ink (3-4 pea sized) onto your plastic printing plate a few times so it is even on there. Next, roll the ink onto your foam design so it is covered evenly.

5. Place your inked foam design face down onto your paper. Using the clean roller, roll over it firmly so it transfers from the foam to the paper. Voila! You now have your printing template ready to be used again and again. This can go on your card and wrapping paper. You can use different coloured inks, just make sure you clean them thoroughly between colours.

6. Select another drawing from your original 3 for the wrapping paper. Using brown paper ( cut to size) draw your design onto it using posca paint pens. You can create one large drawing or a repeat pattern of your drawing. You can add text, snowflakes etc.

7. Select your final drawing. This can be used for your series of cards. Using watercolour pencils, watercolour palettes and water brushes, illustrate your drawing in colour onto your card. You can add text, names, snowflakes etc and remember you can illustrate your envelope too.

Mixed Media by Venetia Rawlinson

Mixed media is a term used to describe art work that combines different media or materials.

Examples of mixed media include:-

Collage - an art form using materials such as ribbons, newspaper clippings, photographs, etc.

Assemblage - an art form made from found or unrelated objects.

One of my favourite mixed media artists is Florian Nicolle, who uses newspaper, watercolour, pencils and digital drawings to create layers. Nicolle has worked with large companies such as Nike, Adobe and ESPN.

Another favourite of mine is Michael Brennan-Wood, who mostly works on traditional floral imagery combining embroidery, lace, acrylic paint, wood, glass and collage.

I really enjoy working with mixed media at Art Club. It’s really good fun but it can also look really effective. I particularly like working with maps.